Ever sit down with Moon Safari and bristle at Air's one rough edge? Well, never fear. Allow us to suggest Zero 7, a London two-piece with every sharp corner filed frictionless for your listening comfort. Zero 7 is the safety scissor of the electro world, a distinctly nontoxic, ooey-gooey take on synth-pop that makes Nike and Lexus executives drool themselves dry. They have remarkable provenance to be sure, with ties to Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and plenty of little gold statues to beautify their mantles. Give their 2007 Grammy entry The Garden a spin and marvel at how each note, born and raised in the studio like an artificial embryo, courses the ears like Novocaine. Their lyrics? Maudlin stuff that borders on the absurd. But if you managed to stomach the "English-is-not-my-first-language" nonsense of bands like Air and Cibo Matto, you'll have no bitching rights here. Zero 7 is here to soothe your savage beast. With Body Language. 18+. $20/$23 at the door. 8 p.m. 110 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612.332.3742. —David Hansen

MONDAY 12.07

A Paper Cup Band

Memory Lanes

Hold on tight: Downtempo U.K. duo Zero 7 are blowing into town
Sammy Green
Hold on tight: Downtempo U.K. duo Zero 7 are blowing into town

"Bastard folk," as A Paper Cup Band describe themselves, is a perfect summary for these locals. Their acoustic numbers are occasionally joined with bluegrass licks, slow grind electric guitar lines, arena-rock organ solos, and strangely appropriate hip-hop drum beats. Their mish-mash lyrics are reminiscent of Beck's early years, and the lackadaisical vocal delivery sounds like love notes written to Stephen Malkmus. Bastards, yes, but their sheer willingness to experiment, and have all the odds and ends actually sound good together, also make them more like rare mutants. Really cool mutants, stars of the freak show, hooting at a drunken sunrise. And all the girls are throwing their panties. With International Espionage, the Liar Birds, and Ghost Towns of the West. 21+. Free. 9 p.m. 2520 26th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.721.6211. —Erin Roof


30th Annual John Lennon Tribute

First Avenue

Rumor has it that on December 8, 1980, upon hearing the news of John Lennon's death, local legend Curtiss A stumbled into the 7th St. Entry, kicked the band off the stage, and played Lennon tunes until bar close. Every year since, Curtiss A has returned to the Entry and, as the crowd grew progressively larger, the Mainroom of First Ave to revisit his favorite Lennon songs. The annual event has blossomed into a sprawling, epic, celebratory tribute and communal gathering for Beatles fans and local-music lovers alike. This year marks the 30th anniversary of that tragic evening and, on the heels of the recent Beatles reissues, will also celebrate the release of the Minnesota Beatles Project, a compilation of covers assembled by local musicians such as Mark Mallman, Roma di Luna, Dave Simonett of Trampled by Turtles, Jeremy Messersmith, and many more. Proceeds from the sale of the album go toward enhancing arts education in Minnesota schools, and the cover fee for tonight's show includes a copy of the compilation. In addition to Curtiss A and his all-star house band, tonight's Lennon tribute will feature Beatles Project contributors Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles, Romantica, and Nicholas "The Feelin'" Mrozinski. 18+. $13. 6:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Andrea Swensson

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